The “Give/Get” Campaign That Sold 42 Hearing Aids from Mailing 192 Patients [Our Best Performing Upgrade Campaign]

Written by Oli Luke

If we strip everything away, there are only three key openings to sell to patients.

  • Selling a hearing aid on their first purchase
  • Selling an accessory in the following 12 weeks
  • Selling upgraded technology 3+ years after first purchase

The most marketing dollars, the most effort, and the most care typically goes towards the first purchase.

Yet one of the biggest opportunities that this industry has to dramatically grow sales is to become much smarter at upgrading patients to new technology.

It’s the easiest sale to make.

The patient already trusts you, they know the benefits of their hearing aids, and they’re educated on what buying hearing aids looks like.

Yet the majority of the upgrade efforts I see are generic, bland, pack no punch, and are more of an expectation that the patient is going to waltz through your door and demand to give you money.

In this article, I want to share the most effective upgrade campaign that we use to drive patients back through your door and have them desperate to pay premium prices for new technology.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of the campaign, let’s actually break down the buying process here.

Because what we’re asking a patient to do is:

  • Buy something new to replace the things that were worth several thousand dollars a few years ago
  • Pay a significant amount of money for a slightly better hearing aid than what they are wearing
  • Do this to benefit themselves.

It’s a tough decision to make.

Yet the most common upgrade campaigns that they receive only ever have one hook

“New Technology Now Available”

The big angle of the campaign is to tell them about amazing new technology, talk about the slightly better benefits than their current hearing aids, and tell them that you have some special offers for them.

Let me ask you, is new technology a strong enough reason to pay several thousand dollars for a slightly better experience than they’re getting, that only benefits them, and instantly makes their previous investment worthless?

AND … why should they act on this right now? Is even newer technology going to be available next year or the year after? Why not wait until then?

Look at it this way – if you purchased a car, then three years later, you were told that a new model was available that you could buy and that decision would make your current car worthless and “be kept for backup.

It’s not a strong reason for people to take action.

Sure, some people always will – but overall, there’s a far better hook/angle for your upgrade campaigns that hardly anybody is using.

Introducing: The Give/Get Campaign

We’ve run this campaign across five different clinics varying in size and patient type, and it’s worked for all of them.

It works like this …

  • We tell the patient about a charitable act that we’re involved in (whether it’s a mission trip, local charity, or foundation we’re starting).
  • We paint a picture of how much the people we help need hearing aids but do not have access to them.
  • We tell them that we want to help these people, but we have a problem.
  • We introduce that we need hearing aids to re-condition and donate for our charity.
  • We then introduce a “buyback program” where we’ll buy the patient’s current hearing technology back for a fee, while allowing them to step into new technology.
  • We then briefly talk about the benefits of new technology.
  • We set a deadline (3-4 weeks into the future) of when our “buyback program” will run – encouraging them to contact us immediately.

This results in patients picking up the phone and taking action.

The reason this works is because if we look back to the buying decision we discussed earlier in this article – this buying decision allows them to step into new technology, put their existing hearing aids to good use, and make a savings by stepping into new technology.

Can you see how this is much more powerful than just making the selfish decision of upgrading their hearing aids.

It is good for them. Their decision helps other people in need. They have a reason to act now.

It changes the entire buying decision.

But let’s look at the seven steps of the campaign a little closer.

#1 – We tell the patient about a charitable act that we’re involved in (whether it’s a mission trip, local charity, or foundation we’re starting).

You need to introduce a charity act that you’re involved in.

This may be a local charity that helps the working poor, this may be a mission trip that you’re planning, or it might be a foundation that is an arm of your practice.

But this needs to be very specific and clear.

The more you can show the work that you’ve already done or the impact that you’re going to have, the better.

Show pictures of previous mission trips, show pictures of the last time you visited a local charity. It needs to be real and genuine.

If you’re not currently working with a charity – this might be the kick up butt needed to go and do it.

#2 – We paint a picture of how much the people we help need hearing aids but do not have access to them.

We need to have an emotional impact on the patient.

They need to understand just how much these people need your help. Whether you need to tell a story about somebody you have helped, or explain the outcome that a child on your mission trip faces if they aren’t fitted with hearing aids (loss of education, etc.).

Having the patient understand this and be emotionally invested in it is a key part of them wanting to help (which impacts the buying decision).

#3 – We tell them that we want to help these people, but we have a problem.

By this point, you’ve set the story, you’ve got them emotionally invested, and you’ve told them that you want to help.

But you introduce a problem that only they can help with.

#4 – We introduce the fact that we need hearing aids to re-condition and donate for our charity. 

Your problem is that you need more hearing aids to re-condition and to use for this good cause, to directly help the people that we’ve told them about.

Do you have a target of the number of hearing aids that you need? Want to help 50 people? Be transparent.

Be honest. Share that you need help.

#5 – We then introduce a “buyback program” where we’ll buy the patient’s current hearing technology back for a fee, while allowing them to step into new technology.

The solution is that you would like to buyback the patient’s current hearing aid.

You can include the fee ($1000 to $1500) and tell them that their hearing aids will be re-conditioned and fitted to give somebody in need a life-changing opportunity.

This means that they can step into new technology, using their “buy-back fee” to make a significant savings.

In reality, this is a small discount for us – but it becomes a big discount and a strong reason for the patient to act quickly.

#6 – We then briefly talk about the benefits of new technology.

We very subtly hint at the incredible features of the new technology to “sell the sizzle” of what they’ll get by making this decision.

#7 – We set a deadline (3-4 weeks into the future) of when our “buyback program” will run – encouraging them to contact us immediately.

We then include what is probably the most powerful part of this campaign – the deadline.

We tell them that we either only need XX number of hearing aids, or there’s a time deadline for when our “buyback program” is running.

This gives the patient a strong reason to act quickly.

Unlike the “New Technology” hook – there’s a reason to do this now, they lose out by waiting or procrastinating on a decision.

What Does The Full Campaign Look Like?

We use the Give/Get Campaign through a five-step campaign.

It starts with an email.

We send an email to all patients that are between 3-6 years to tell them that we’ve just mailed them an important time-sensitive letter.

The following day, a letter lands in a hand-addressed envelope that is personally signed – the letter shares the seven-step structure we highlighted above.

We then send a further two emails over the following seven days that asks if they received the letter and encourages them to schedule an appointment to value their current devices.

The final step is a phone call to everybody that received the letter but didn’t respond, encouraging them to book.

It’s a simple campaign but a powerful one.

 

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